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10/24/2008 1:56 PM ET
Nationals complete 2009 coaching staff
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The Washington Nationals today announced that bench coach Jim Riggleman, first base coach Marquis Grissom, third base coach Pat Listach, hitting coach Rick Eckstein and bullpen coach Randy Knorr will join returning pitching coach Randy St. Claire on the club's 2009 coaching staff. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden and Manager Manny Acta made the joint announcement.

Riggleman, 55, adds nearly eight seasons of managerial experience to the Nationals' bench. Riggleman, who has skippered San Diego (1992-94), Chicago-NL (1995-00) and Seattle (interim, 2008), returns to the National League, where he has either managed or served on a coaching staff in 14 of the last 20 seasons. Riggleman's managerial career is highlighted by the 1998 Cubs, who went 90-73 (.552) to claim the NL Wild Card. Having served stewardships under Tony LaRussa, Jerry Manuel and Jim Tracy, Riggleman is widely considered one of the brightest baseball minds in the game. In five seasons serving on coaching staffs in Cleveland (2000) and Los Angeles-NL (2000-04), Riggleman's hard work and knowledge helped those clubs average 89 wins per campaign. During his distinguished career, Riggleman has managed or coached the likes of Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace, Ryne Sandberg, Gary Sheffield, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Ichiro Suzuki. Riggleman was the Dodgers' fourth-round selection in the 1974 June Draft and played eight professional seasons.

The 41 year-old Grissom accepts his first job coaching at the professional level and returns to the organization that drafted him in the third round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft. In 17 big league seasons with Montreal (1989-94), Atlanta (1995-96), Cleveland (1997), Milwaukee (1998-2000), Los Angeles-NL (2001-02) and San Francisco (2003-05), Grissom batted .272 (2251-for-8275) with 386 doubles, 227 home runs, 967 RBI and 429 stolen bases and garnered four Gold Glove citations in center field (1993-96). Grissom twice (1993-94) represented the Expos in the All-Star Game and four times enjoyed post-season play, during which he batted .317 with five home runs, 20 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 52 games. His post-season prowess earned Grissom a World Series ring with the 1995 Braves and the 1997 ALCS Most Valuable Player award.

Listach-who won the 1992 American League Rookie of the Year award after hitting .290 with 54 stolen bases for Milwaukee-joins the Nationals after spending the previous three seasons compiling a 231-189 (.550) record managing in the upper levels of Chicago-NL's system. In 2008, Listach's Iowa Cubs went 83-59 (.585), claimed first place in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League's American Northern Division and he was named PCL Manager of the Year. Listach, 41, managed the Cubs' Double-A affiliate to winning records in both 2007 (Tennessee of the Southern League) and 2006 (West Tenn of the Southern League) and coached in the Arizona Fall League in 2001. Listach batted .251 (444-for-1772) with 63 doubles, five home runs, 143 RBI and 116 stolen bases in six big league seasons with Milwaukee (1992-96) and Houston (1997). Listach played collegiately at Arizona State University, where he and the Sun Devils earned a berth in the 1988 College World Series.

A September 2008 addition to the Nationals' coaching staff, Eckstein has established relationships with various Nationals, including Ryan Zimmerman, Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes and Cristian Guzman. While serving as Columbus' hitting coach last season in the Triple-A International League, Eckstein gained invaluable exposure to young hitters such as Jesus Flores, Roger Bernadina, Emilio Bonifacio and Alberto Gonzalez. Eckstein-who served as Davey Johnson's bench coach during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing-has coached in the Nationals' chain four of the last five seasons, and draws on three seasons of experience as a Triple-A hitting coach. The 39 year-old Eckstein played collegiately at the University of Florida where he graduated with a degree in Exercise Sports Science. He is the older brother of Diamondbacks infielder David Eckstein.

Knorr, 39, returns to Washington in a familiar role, as he served on Frank Robinson's coaching staff as bullpen coach for the final three-plus months of the 2006 campaign. Knorr is fresh off guiding Potomac to the Single-A Carolina League championship, which came in his fourth season managing in Washington's chain. During his three-year stint with Potomac, he has managed numerous current Nationals pitchers, including John Lannan, Garrett Mock and Shairon Martis. A catcher, Knorr played in 253 big league games for Toronto (1991-95), Houston (1996-97, '99), Florida (1998), Texas (2000) and Montreal (2001), hitting .227 (153-for-676) with 24 home runs and 88 RBI. He earned a pair World Series rings with the Blue Jays in 1993 and 1994. Known during his playing days as an excellent defender, Knorr gunned down Tim Raines on September 2, 1995 to halt Raines' AL record string of consecutive stolen bases at 40.

The Nationals announced on September 28 that the 48 year-old St. Claire would be retained, citing his tutelage of young pitchers such as John Lannan, Joel Hanrahan and Collin Balester. St. Claire has also had a hand in reviving the careers of both Tim Redding and Odalis Perez. The longest-tenured pitching coach in the NL East, the 2009 season will be St. Claire's seventh as the franchise's big league pitching coach. Prior to being named pitching coach on December 4, 2002, St. Claire tutored pitchers for seven seasons in the Minor Leagues, including the final five in the Expos organization. In nine big league seasons, he finished 12-6 with nine saves and a 4.14 ERA in 162 games with Montreal, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Atlanta and Toronto.
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